The Global Goals champion
Hannah Stanton, 30, is director of TheGoals.org, an innovative global platform which enables young people from across the world to learn about the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Last year, Hannah, was one of three young people recognised for her leadership skills by the Swedish Royal Foundation for Young Leadership…
“I came across TheGoals.org at testing stage. They needed people to try it, so I went and met the director. We had so many things in common and he said, ‘As soon as I have funding I will hire you.’
“I was passionate about a platform that provides young people with the opportunity to learn about the Sustainable Development Goals [a series of targets to end extreme poverty and tackle climate change for everyone] no matter where they are in the world.
“I was promoted to Director last year. My boss, who founded the company, felt I would be able to take the company to the next level, while he concentrated on the technical side. He could have stuck to his guns and stayed in his role, but he recognised the importance of supporting one another to achieve the best outcome. I really admire him for that.
“We’ve worked hard to develop something that works on the cheapest mobile phone, so it’s sustainable, long lasting and can be viewed anywhere in the in the world. It’s been a challenge, but one that we’ve overcome.
"Now, I manage a small team and oversee the budget and programme implementation, as well as working on course content and partnerships.
“The leadership skills I learnt as a Girl Guide prepared me well for this role, so when it came to taking a director-level position, I felt equipped. Guiding taught me to learn and lead by doing. It taught me to believe in my potential – something I want to teach others too. It also showed me the importance of international networks. Now one of the best things about my job is being able to meet different people and create networks of change-makers.
“It’s not always been an easy journey. Sometimes your inner voice can hold you back. I’ve also been faced with structural barriers created by society, but we must break free and pursue our dreams. As a girl, you have to work twice as hard to achieve your goals. I have aspirations and dreams and I want to follow them. Yet sometimes, as a girl, I feel I can’t express weakness, even though that’s the how you achieve trust and acceptance from others.
“If I could give any advice to other girls, I would tell them to listen to their heart and their dreams. Don’t let voices - whether they’re real or the ones in your head - stand in the way. Work together. Don’t fight a battle alone.
"Look for role-models like Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, Executive Director of UN Women. She’s an extraordinary woman who leads from the heart. She knows how to enthuse and excite people to move things forward but isn’t afraid to talk about challenges and obstacles. That’s the kind of leader I aspire to be.”
"I’ve been faced with structural barriers created by society, but we must break free and pursue our dreams"